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Jodie Underhill – A British Woman – Plans to clear the trash left by Manimahesh Yatra Devotees

Jodie Underhill is involved in cleaning the mountains in Himachal Pradesh and she is now planning to clean the Manimahesh Lake and its surroundings. Each year thousands of devotees trek to Manimahesh in Chamba District in Himachal Pradesh – a sacred spot associated with Shiva. But sadly many of them leave lots of garbage in the area and make the area dirty.

Jodie Underhill was honored with a ‘Green Hero’ award at an environment film festival at Shimla last month for cleaning up garbage in the Dharamsala hills in Himachal Pradesh.
Zeenews Reports
'I've just returned from Manimahesh where I went to evaluate the sites for our upcoming clean-up campaign,' Jodie said in an interview.
'I was saddened to see how dirty it was everywhere even though the annual Manimahesh pilgrimage has not even begun. You can see garbage on every step of the 14-km trail. There is also a large amount of human waste around the glacial-fed lake which is a health hazard. We have a mammoth task ahead of us but I have every faith that we will make huge improvements,' said Jodie, who is heading Mountain Cleaners, a group of foreign volunteers who have taken up as a mission the clean-up of the mountains here.
The volunteers are reaching Bharmour Aug 20, the day the month-long pilgrimage begins to Manimahesh Lake, over 500 km from Shimla.
Evry year, more than 500,000 devotees undertake the pilgrimage to Manimahesh from where they can see Mount Kailash, believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva, and offer prayers.
'We have set up waste disposal and drop off points along the route at Bharmour, Hadsar, Dhancho, Gauri Kund and Manimahesh. We will encourage devotees to bring the waste they generate back to Bharmour and we provide them cloth bags. At present, there is no solution for non-recyclable waste. All waste is thrown into the river and dumped into the forests,' the 34-year-old Briton said.
According to her, special pits have been set up on the trek for burying biodegradable waste. 'The entire trail from Hadsar (the starting point of the pilgrimage) to Manimahesh will be left clean after the pilgrimage. Manimahesh and all locations en route will be left garbage-free,' Jodie said.
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